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York Minster

The city’s emblem is known for its superb stained-glass windows, underground treasure chambers and tall tower with spectacular views.

York Minster is a Gothic masterpiece and among the largest and most impressive cathedrals in Europe. Climb the Minster’s historic tower, tour its underground chambers and discover 2,000 years of history. The current structure dates back to the 12th century and features medieval stained-glass windows. 

When you arrive at York Minster, wonder at its sheer size and elegance. The cathedral’s Gothic façade appears golden and its many windows sparkle in the sunlight. Enter the church and gaze up at its grand arches, pillars and intricate ceiling design. 

Spend hours admiring the elaborate details of the stained-glass Great East Window. The restoration project has taken many years to complete, due to the complexity and quantity of the windows. Every colorful pane of glass has its own story to tell about religious figures and themes.

York Minster’s tower is the highest point in the city. Note the fearsome gargoyles jutting out from the walls as you ascend the 275 steps. When you reach the summit, enjoy unobstructed views of the historic city, its quaint alleyways, medieval landmarks and surrounding Yorkshire countryside. 

The cathedral’s guided tours will introduce you to the tower as well as the church’s hidden treasures. Discover Chinese silks, Roman tiles and ancient books among other historic gems. Meander through the underground chambers of the cathedral to learn about the site’s 2,000-year past. See artifacts that once belonged to the Romans, Normans and other dynasties.

The church is open daily, with extended opening hours on Sundays. Trips to the tower may be restricted during bad weather in the winter months. There is a combined admission fee for the church and the tower, with discounts for seniors and kids. Guided tours are included with admission.

York Minster is located just to the east of the River Ouse and several main attractions, such as the Yorkshire Museum, St. Mary’s Abbey and the Museum Gardens. There are bus stops dotted around the neighboring Dean’s Parks, which is a pleasant picnic area.


Guide to Exploring around York Minster


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Lodging Near York Minster

See all 205 Hotels near York Minster
$163
The Grand Hotel & Spa

The Grand Hotel & Spa

Station Rise, York
4.8
of 5, from 1,531 reviews
5.0 out of 5.0

The Grand Hotel & Spa sits next to York’s Roman city walls, just across the road from the Memorial Gardens and the River Ouse. Guests can walk 5 minutes to York Train Station, or 15 minutes to York Castle Museum and The Shambles, a charming medieval street.

$57
Staycity Aparthotels Paragon Street

Staycity Aparthotels Paragon Street

Paragon Street, York
4.6
of 5, from 901 reviews
4.5 out of 5.0

Situated in York, this apartment is within a 10-minute walk of York Barbican, Clifford's Tower, and York Castle Museum. Merchant Adventurers' Hall and York Dungeon are also within 15 minutes.

$79
Hotel 53

Hotel 53

53 Piccadilly, York
4.1
of 5, from 1,048 reviews
3.5 out of 5.0

Located in the heart of York, this family-friendly hotel is steps from York Castle Museum and Clifford's Tower. Merchant Adventurers' Hall and York Dungeon are also within 10 minutes.

$85
Park Inn by Radisson York City Center

Park Inn by Radisson York City Center

North Street, York
4.1
of 5, from 1,325 reviews
4.0 out of 5.0

Located in the heart of York, this eco-friendly hotel is within a 5-minute walk of All Saints Church and York Dungeon. York Minster and Jorvik Viking Centre are also within 10 minutes.

$88
Hampton by Hilton York

Hampton by Hilton York

Toft Green, York
4.5
of 5, from 1,490 reviews
3.5 out of 5.0

Located in the heart of York, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Micklegate Bar, York Dungeon, and Jorvik Viking Centre. York Minster and Shambles are also within 15 minutes.

$78
Jorvik Hotel

Jorvik Hotel

50-52 Marygate, York
3.7
of 5, from 151 reviews
3.5 out of 5.0

Located in Bootham, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of St. Olave's Church and York Minster. York National Railway Museum and York Dungeon are also within 15 minutes.

$102
Hilton York

Hilton York

1 Tower Street, York
4.0
of 5, from 1,124 reviews
4.5 out of 5.0

Set inside York's city walls, Hilton York is within a quarter-mile of JORVIK Viking Centre, York Dungeon, and York Castle Museum. York Minster and the railway station are within a 15-minute walk.

$129
Judges Lodgings York

Judges Lodgings York

9 Lendal Way, York
4.5
of 5, from 88 reviews
5.0 out of 5.0

Situated in the business district, this luxury inn is within a 5-minute walk of York Guildhall and York Minster. York Dungeon and Shambles are also within 10 minutes.